18: Summer tales II – Napa Valley

I am recapping the wonderful times that I had with my family here in the States this summer. See all related posts under the category:  summer tales.


Today (7/12) we left San Francisco to head to Napa Valley. We picked out another café close by for breakfast. The “Corner Bakery” was just around the corner from our hotel and looked pretty nice. It’s a chain restaurant, but it has a bit of a European flair (or at least that’s what I thought they were going for) and unusual items on their menu, a cross between a regular breakfast joint (scrambles, omlettes, and pancakes)  and a coffeeshop (with pastries, croissants, oatmeal and granola). Unfortunately, the service was really, really bad. They got none of our orders right and the kids ended up waiting the longest for their meals (which is always, always a bad thing), and overall it was just not a great experience. It was really too bad.

My dad and I headed to the “Dollar” car rental place afterwards to pick up our rental cars and even though we had cars reserved for 11 a.m., we didn’t get our cars until 12:30 p.m. and everything was just really badly organized and slow.

So, we got out of the city on a late start around 1 p.m. and also couldn’t – as we had planned – leave the city by driving over the Goldern Gate Bridge (because it was closed for repairs that weekend). Bummer.We took the Bay Bridge instead and headed to Calistoga to  the Old Faithful Geyser

Everyone has to witness this natural spectacle at least once ;)






Greta and Tom weren’t really interested at first, but were quite intrigued when we told them that this wasn’t just any old “fountain”, but something produced by nature itself!

However, they were even more excited about the “petting zoo” – who can blame them? –  and Greta had named every single animal within a few minutes!



We left Calistoga around 4 p.m. and since hadn’t had any lunch, our bellies were growling and we decided to make a stop at Dean & DeLuca to get some picnic food.

We bought some bread, cheeses, prosciutto, salami, and some beverages and then sat outside in the sun and enjoyed a little picnic. It’s become sort of a tradition to do this when in Napa Valley.






We had planned to stop at the Mondavi Winery in the afternoon, but time had gotten away from us (what with the late start in the morning) and the winery was already closed. So we decided to head back to Sacramento and come back the next weekend.

Find the previous post here.


    Your niece and nephew are just too cute! Stupid question I should have asked a while back and you’ve likely said this somewhere on your blog, but are they twins? Or a year or two apart?

    1. My niece and nephew could totally be twins, right?? ;) But they’re not – they’re 17 months apart. Greta is older, but Tom is just as tall as she is already!

      Also: the cheese was FANTASTIC :)

  2. I have never been to Napa Valley but would love to get there one day!! Bummer that you guys got a later start than expected. And that is so disappointing that the kids food came last at the restaurant as they are the ones that should eat first!

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